What’s on your bucket list?

Posted in: Wellbeing Last updated: 29 Jun 2012

In 1940, a 15-year-old John Goddard wrote down a list of 127 things he wanted to do before he died. He called this his “life list”, and was proactive enough to tick off 110 of them – and make a good start on many of the rest, before his death last year; hopefully a much more fulfilled and happier person as a result.


We’re always hearing inspirational stories about people who’ve been diagnosed with terminal illnesses and have gone on to experience amazing things as part of their “bucket list”, but what about the more ordinary, nice-to-have entries that the rest of us would like to do? With this in mind, we did a bit of research to find out what the average Brit has on their bucket list.

Around the world

The most popular item – appearing on 31% of bucket lists – was to have a holiday home abroad. Closely followed by 30% wanting to learn a foreign language – presumably so they can “blend in with the locals” at their new holiday home. One of the most popular destinations is the Maldives, closely followed by driving Route 66 across America or seeing the Egyptian Pyramids.

Home is where the heart is

It’s not just abroad we covet the idea of owning a home, 28% of us want to buy a house rather than rent in this country.

Lower down the list, we want to enjoy the simple things at home – such as volunteering for a good cause or running a big race for charity. The less altruistic of us would love to own a designer watch or Mulberry handbag.

Thrill seeking

We’re excited to find that there are some adrenaline junkies out there, with 19% wanting to climb a mountain, 16% saying they’d like to drive a racing car, and 10% wanting to do a bungee jump before they died. We also have a penchant for changing our image – with some people saying they’d like to change their hair colour or get a tattoo.


It’s good to see that amongst all these – let’s have it now moments – there are a few using the list to create more meaningful life changing skills. Learning an instrument or surfing are amongst our top personal goals. Whilst 17% want to work in a different country, 16% say they’d like to write a novel and 10% want to reach the top of their career ladders.

However, some are using the list as a way of re-defining their lives – with almost 15% want to change careers completely – perhaps to a film extra; something 14% said they wanted to do.

And the rest…

There are of course a few miscellaneous items on our lists – holding a koala, riding a horse and cart, or taking a selfie with a sea lion are but just a few!


When reflecting on our lives so far, most of us say finance has been the area that hasn’t gone as well as planned with 40% wishing they were better with money. Work-life balance continues to be elusive – as more than a third feel they have got this wrong.

A reminder to us all that when planning our bucket list – we should seriously consider how this can help us to create the balance between earning enough to ensure life is lived and experienced fully; whilst saving enough to create financial security for our later years. As dull as it may sound, when planning the good times, pay as much attention to ensuring you have put some plans in place for the not so good times – so you can well and truly enjoy kicking that bucket list. At just 27p per day, taking care of your loved ones doesn’t have to break the bank. Click here <a href=”#”>Link text</a>to find out more.

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Hub content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions. OneFamily do not provide advice so it may be worth speaking to an independent financial advisor about your own circumstances.